Paintings / Edo

By Mori Tetsuzan (1775–1841)

Edo period, 19th century

Color and silver leaf on paper



Brown and black oxen are painted against a silver backdrop. The black ox reclines with front legs folded. It sits at the feet of the standing brown ox. On closer inspection, it appears the black ox is watching us with its beady blue eye. The near-life-sized creatures almost seem alive. A glance at the tails, the legs and the facial fur reveals how the artist has used a light brush touch to imbue the beasts with vigor. This is obviously the work of an artist with a talent for realistic portrayals.
Mori Tetsuzan was a painter during the late Edo period. Together with his adoptive father, Mori Sosen, he studied under Maruyama Okyo and was counted among Okyo's ten best pupils.
He combined his adoptive father's flare for depicting monkeys and other animals with the vivid realism of the Maruyama school to create his own characteristic style.

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Okyo / Maruyama / 応挙 / 円山

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